As expected, working on the larger paintings is a challenge. The time spent preparing the panel, mixing colors, and pulling an image from the initial matrix of abstract marks and textures takes focus and the ability to keep the “larger picture” in mind. Small paintings bring their own opportunities and problems. For me, the first decision is what to focus on – what aspect of the pond merits closer inspection? I begin the small paintings much the way I start a large painting, but with more control. The marks and textures must be small enough to “work” at the reduced scale. The intimacy of a small panel, the way it draws you in, demands an absolute attention to every square inch of surface. I want the painting to reward the viewer with a satisfying experience. The subject must have a real sense of presence and uniqueness.
In the case of Twilight Lily, I loved the cup-like shape of the flower, the way the petals were reminiscent of opening or closing fingers. As the painting developed, I subdued the colors. The lily’s reflection in the water was the vital detail that could bring a sense of magic to the scene. Desaturating the color emphasized the reflection and, by suggesting twilight, added more mystery along with an implied sense of urgency – soon it will be dark and lily will pass into its own good night. Enjoy.